All About Alimony, Maintenance, and Spousal Support in Illinois?

If you are in the midst of a divorce and your spouse is asking for alimony, you may be curious as to how the amount that will be allocated is determined. Alimony, also known as spousal support, is a financial award that one spouse will pay to the other spouse while he or she becomes accustomed to supporting themselves.

At the present, there is no specific formula that exists to determine how much, if any, support will be awarded. However, several factors are considered, such as, the income

and property of each party; the needs of each party; the present and future earning capacity of each party; any impairment to the earning capacity of the party seeking maintenance due to that party devoting time to domestic duties or having forgone or delayed education, training, employment, or career opportunities due to the marriage; the time necessary to enable the party seeking maintenance to acquire appropriate education, training, and employment, and whether that party is able to support himself or herself through appropriate employment or is the custodian of a child making it appropriate that the custodian not seek employment; the standard of living established during the marriage; the duration of the marriage; the age and the physical and emotional condition of both parties; the tax consequences of the property division upon the respective economic circumstances of the parties; contributions and services by the party seeking maintenance to the education, training, career or career potential, or license of the other spouse; any valid agreement of the parties; and any other factor that the court finds to be just and equitable.

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There are generally three (3) different types of maintenance that can be requested in the State of Illinois.

  1. Permanent or indefinite maintenance is usually only granted in marriages that have lasted over fifteen (15) to twenty (20) years or because the spouse cannot return to work for health reasons, age, and/or because they have been out of the workforce for an extended period of time.
  2. Reviewable maintenance is awarded for a period of three (3) to five (5) years if the spouse can show, among other things, that the financial need exists.
  3. Rehabilitative maintenance. This is maintenance that the spouse receives while attending school or receiving training to reenter the workforce until they can become self-supporting.

Once maintenance has been ruled upon by the court, it will continue as set forth in the divorce decree. Unless the maintenance is expressly made non-modifiable by agreement of the parties, either spouse can request a modification of the maintenance obligation by filing a petition in the court and demonstrating that there has been a substantial change in the circumstances since entry of the original order. By statue, a maintenance obligation, unless otherwise agreed by the parties, terminates upon the death, remarriage, or the cohabitation of the spouse receiving support.

If you have any questions about spousal support, contact one of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC's knowledgeable and dedicated attorneys for a free consultation.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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